Case name: Letter to: Bay Mills Community College, No. 15‐16‐2187 (OCR 10/14/16).Ruling: Before the Office for Civil Rights could issue a decision, Bay Mills Community College entered into a voluntary agreement to resolve online accessibility concerns identified by a complainant.What it means: Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act require that recipient universities ensure accessibility not just to their brick‐and‐mortar programs, activities, and services, but also to those offered electronically, including online communication.Summary: A complainant alleged that Bay Mills Community College discriminated by failing to make all of its webpages accessible to individuals with certain kinds of disabilities, including visual, print, physical, and hearing impairments. Specifically, he complained the institution's homepage and disability services, testing center, academic resources, tutoring services, and admissions webpages weren't accessible, in violation of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act.The Office for Civil Rights conducted an investigation that included an accessibility review of several webpages on the college's website. It reviewed the list of “errors” provided by the student to the agency resulting from her assessment of the webpages listed in the complaint using an accessibility checker. The agency used an accessibility tool as well to conduct a preliminary review of some of the pages listed in the complaint. Its review raised some red flags, including a lack of skip navigation, keyboard controls that didn't allow equivalent ease of use, and lack of meaningful alternate text.Before OCR could complete its investigation and issue a finding, the institution entered into a resolution agreement to resolve the issues identified.
Campus Legal Advisor – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
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